Birth watch starts Aug. 11.
The new calf will be one of the girls! Alice, Daizy and Rozie in 2010. Photo by Rick Janser/ABQ BioPark.
August 9, 2013
The ABQ BioPark Asian elephant herd is expecting a female addition. Blood tests indicate that Rozie's second calf will likely be a girl, although like most gender tests, the test has occasionally been wrong. The birth window is August-November, and based on the gestation of Rozie's first offspring, Daizy, keepers suspect the calf may come mid-September.
"We're very excited about the possible addition of another female calf to our multi-generational herd," said Rhonda Saiers, BioPark Elephant Manager. "A female adds even more depth to the herd dynamics. Daizy has already learned so much from mother Rozie and grandmother Alice, and there are many other lessons to be learned from a sister. As with any birth, a healthy baby is what matters most, and if the test happens to be wrong, we'd welcome a male calf, too."
"Birth Watch," around-the-clock visual monitoring, starts August 11 with the help of several dozen staff and Education volunteers, who have been trained by elephant keepers. In addition to watching Rozie for signs of labor, the animal care team is monitoring her progesterone levels. Starting August 12, daily serum samples go to sponsor TriCore Reference Laboratories, where they measure the hormone levels. When progesterone drops to baseline and stays there, zookeepers have a good indication that the calf will arrive within a few days.
- The ABQ BioPark staff and volunteers have been busy with other birth preparations, too:
- Regular checkups and exercise sessions (video) have been an important part of prenatal care.
- Elephant Conservation Day (aka Daizy's 4th Birthday!) is coming up on Aug. 24.
- Zookeepers will present "A Growing Family of Elephants" at the Brown Bag Seminars on Sept. 5 and 7.
Rozie became pregnant in December 2011 through artificial insemination with sperm from Samson, another BioPark elephant. Read more about the ABQ BioPark elephant herd. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or dial 311 locally (505-768-2000).